Adele Ginzberg

Known as “Mama G.” and “Mrs. Seminary,” Adele Ginzberg helped her husband, Louis Ginzberg, create a warm atmosphere at the Jewish Theological Seminary and helped lay the groundwork for women’s greater inclusion in Conservative Judaism. Ginzberg married in 1909 and moved to New York, where Louis Ginzberg taught at JTS. Adele Ginzberg became involved in activist causes during WWI, through the Liberty Bond Campaign. In 1920 she joined the Conservative movement’s National Women’s League, representing them to various national and international organizations and writing a monthly column for their magazine, Outlook. In 1946 she spearheaded the establishment of the Menorah Award for Jewish Girl Scouts. At the Seminary, Ginzberg decorated the sukkah every year and began inviting rabbinical students to Shabbat meals, a tradition she continued even after her husband’s death. One of the few women of her generation who pushed for women’s inclusion in ritual life, Ginzberg was made an honorary fellow of the Seminary in 1976 and was awarded the Mathilde Schechter Award posthumously in 1980.


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Several girls from the Girl Scouts chapter of Congregation B'nai David, stand together in uniform, Detroit, Michigan, ca. 1945. Adele Ginzberg initiated a Girl Scout project in 1946 that led to the establishment of the Menorah Award for Jewish Girl Scouts.
Courtesy of Ahava R. Ehrenpreis, New York
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Jewish Women's Archive. "Adele Ginzberg ." (Viewed on January 25, 2021) <>.


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